E3 EQ2 Possibilities
"What Would I Like to see from E3 about EQ2?"
By: Paul "SLiDE" Shortt
What would I like to see from e3 about EverQuest 2? I would love to see the game take some surprising turns in the way of improving certain aspects of what's already a great game. Skies the limit in terms of ideas for a game that has become so much a part of my life since early in its release. So far the Sony team has been pretty good about fitting new ideas into a constantly growing game, but we should never stop! There are a number of you who probably want nothing more than “fixes” to things deemed “broken”, but let’s set aside the gripes about current play mechanics and let our mind create new ideas for what could be!
Here’s what we currently know. We know that Sony will probably break out the media for the new expansion and adventure packs. We know there is going to be more clothes, more zones, and more content in general. We also know that there is going to be a brand new playable race. This means the no0b zones are going to be flooded with nothing but fae folk for the next couple of months. The same thing happened when the frogloks were finally released. But even with all this new content, will anything really change? Will the content keep things fresh or is Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) just going to set the playlist to repeat the same old song?
Like I said above, there are so many cool things that SOE could show off at the expo, so I’ll try to keep this wish-list as realistic as possible. I’ll admit that I’ve taken some time away from EQ2 to pick up the Bethesda game Oblivion, so if some of these ideas sound familiar to you, then that might be why.
NPC Artificial Intelligence
At first this wasn’t a big deal to me, because I was spending so much time running around and talking to everyone for minuscule amounts of experience points. Now that I’ve been playing the game for a year and a half, I started to notice that there really isn’t any interaction between NPCs nor do their positions change. It’s almost a lifeless atmosphere when I walk into a town to see the same people standing in the same place or walking the same route every time. Would it actually make sense to make people more difficult to find? I guess it depends on one’s level of impatience. I think it would be nice to kill some of the game’s repetition by increasing a NPC’s behavioral patterns.
I’m all for playing a unique appearance, and EverQuests character creation process could use some help. No matter which way you slide the sliders, it is really difficult to create a toon that stands out. Every human looks like the next and every gnome looks like the next gnome. If it wasn’t for the hairstyle and limited accessories, we would have a definite identity crisis on our hands. The ability to fluctuate character weight and different physical visualizations would really help players give themselves a personal flair.
MMORPGs can’t be considered linear because of the amount of freedom given to every player, but I do consider the character’s progression to be pretty close. When a player chooses his or her class, they will always get the same spells and combat abilities. Every class is the same in that sense. Of course each race gets specific traits which widen the possibilities and the achievement system has been put into place, but when a player starts to progress in level, most of those traits really don’t seem to make much a difference when there is armor and other items to make up for certain deficiencies. An ogre illusionist isn’t really going to be that much different from any other illusionist. A player is now picking a race based on how they look. I’d love to see some more minor skills that players could work on to set themselves apart from each other.
Side Games and Puzzles
There have been a few things that were really cool for the moment, but nothing that warranted going back to try again. People love mini-games. Ok, ok, I won’t speak for everyone, but I certainly love them. Yes, I understand we have the goblin gambling game which is fun until the certainty of loss sinks in. My server puts out a winner once every never. I think the pot is at 1600 platinum.
Little things that give out scores and put up a monthly leaderboard would be a lot of fun. Gnome punting, or Gnoll Bowling, or pool, or silly Tetris-esque drop down, color matching, flip the shapes games could help bring together tournaments for wining trophies and things that you could put in your house.
I would love to see more merchandise in regards to EQ2. While I do think that zboard and keyset is kind of cool looking, there isn’t much else to look at in their store. They’re even out of DoF monkeys!! I have one and he protects when I’m home alone. He’s saved my life twice this year alone.
Character class or race related shirts would be really cool to see. Action figures, soundtracks, ale glasses, and whatever else you can think of. Yes, I would actually consider buying some of it. The main logo I don’t mind so much, but the Antonia/Lucan pictures are kind of old. Besides, you don’t ever see them in your travels. You just know they’re there. And hey, if they started raking in merchandise profits, maybe they’ll lower the Station Access fee! /cheer
Right now, all items are pretty much glued down and anchored. A glass will never move, a table can never be pushed and a barrel can’t be rolled. Wouldn’t it be cool to see things react to touch or other command?
Incorporating this into the general game would be tough though. Before you know it, everyone is picking up ale glasses and chucking it at each other or some one will actually spend the time to pick up rocks or barrels and build a pyramid in the middle of the klicnik fields. This might work in a zoned room instance where the room resets after every use. That brings me to…
Why not have instanced zones set up like chat rooms? An ale house set up and moderated by it’s creator? Upon opening the door, the player would be greeted with a list of available rooms or given the chance to join a private room with the use of a password. Guilds could hold meetings, people could walk into open rooms for a role playing chat experience or players could just have a place to gather a group before or after a raid.
Over all I enjoy EverQuest 2 for what it is and what it could be. I think the SOE team continues to do a great job of adding content and trying to meet it’s customers’ needs without compromising it’s core features. E3 doesn’t mark the end of an era either. It marks a new beginning.
Hopefully we see some great stuff come from the SOE corner, especially for EQ2.
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